House Speaker Paul Ryan, who won his reelection bid for Wisconsin’s 1st congressional district on Tuesday night, addressed the victory of his party’s presidential nominee during a short press conference Wednesday morning. Or to put that another way, Ryan — whose prior animosity towards Trump (and vice versa) resulted in his not even saying the president-elect’s name — came out and said Trump’s name in a public forum, before the many eyes, pens and cameras of the press. He even congratulated the Donald:
“This is the most incredible political feat I have seen in my lifetime. Many of our fellow citizens feel alienated and have lost faith in our core institutions. They don’t feel heard, and they don’t feel represented by those in office. But Donald Trump heard a voice out in this country that no one else heard. He connected in ways with people no one else did. He turned politics on its head, and now Donald Trump will lead a unified Republican government. We will work hand in hand on a positive agenda to tackle this country’s big challenges.”
In addition, Ryan also offered his congratulations to Vice President-elect Mike Pence, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, and his own efforts to attain and preserve a Republican congressional majority. Which is curious, as murmurs among Republican insiders and pundits have painted a rather perilous portrait of Ryan’s future as Speaker of the House. (Fox News host Sean Hannity even dug into the speaker’s position the midst of his channel’s election coverage late Tuesday night, saying Ryan wouldn’t keep the position come January.)
Hence why the first question Ryan took from the press concerned the status of his relationship with Trump. In response, the Wisconsin representative said he thought “their relationship [was] fine” and mentioned he’d “spoken with Donald twice in the last 18 hours. We spoke last night. We spoke again this morning.” Ryan emphasized they were already “talking about getting our transitions working together” but didn’t offer any details as to what these transitions may include.